I was rereading Henri Nouwen’s wonderful little book “In The Name of Jesus: Reflections on Christian Leadership” today as I worked on my sermon. These words jumped out at me:
It is not enough for the priests and ministers of the future to be moral people, well trained, eager to help their fellow humans, and able to respond creatively to the burning issues of their time. All of that is very valuable and important, but it is not the heart of Christian leadership. The central question is, Are the leaders of the future really men and women of God, people with an ardent desire to dwell in God’s presence, to listen to God’s voice, to look at God’s beauty, to touch incarnate word and to taste fully God’s infinite goodness?
Then, I thumbed back a few pages to reflect on these words:
…I am deeply convinced that the Christian leader of the future is called to be completely irrelevant and to stand in this world with nothing to offer but his or her own vulnerable self. That is the way Jesus came to reveal God’s love. The great message we have to carry, as ministers of God’s word and followers of Jesus, is that God loves us not because of what we do or accomplish, but because God has created and redeemed us in love and has chosen us to proclaim that love as the true source of all human life.
I’ve got to go get the girls, but I may try to reflect on this more later tonight.